Human interaction is a peculiar and complex exchange, or so thinks my introverted self. It requires listening, responding, making appropriate eye contact, and catching onto necessary social cues. With one person, sure—that isn’t so bad. But what about with 5+ people…all at the same time? Crikey, that’s a lot of energy expenditure. We introverts just don’t feel the need to be such energy spendthrifts because we’ve already got the best company in town: ourselves.
The introvert system of just a couple close friends works well through the pre-parenting years, but then an adorable baby enters the scene and everything turns upside down. As baby grows, an introvert—such as myself—makes the realization that she needs mom-friends. She lets out a sigh, accepts the fact that she must enter the trenches, and whips out her phone.
An Introvert’s Mom Meet-Up Experience
So our introvert met up at a park with lots of other moms. There was the idle conversation and your standard questions wherein all moms try to sort out who parents in a style that is most like their own. Mothers evaluate the answers to these questions while thinking things like Who is most likely to also have a minimum of fifteen Cheerios in the toddler’s car seat right now?
The introvert unconsciously seeks out an individual that can be drawn into a conversation over by the swings, isolated from the hubbub of friendly mom chatter that has formed a group nearby. No success, the target is lured elsewhere. The toddlers begin tossing green and brown hickory nuts dropped by the squirrels into the pond to see if they will sink. Our introvert then has a moment of doubt about her ability to converse with unknown humans.
I just told someone’s toddler that the dry nutshell she threw joyfully into the water was a “brown floater,” which sort of made it sound like a piece of poop going down the drain. Am I being weird?
An internal debate as to whether our introvert is socially awkward begins, but she decides she just doesn’t care and chooses to focus on being social again. The meet-up drags on.
But at the end of the day, it was all worth it. Vaguely reminiscent of the joy a teenager feels upon scoring the digits of their crush, our introvert has successfully made a friend and exchanged numbers.
So She Has One, but is One Enough?
Our introvert’s knee-jerk reaction is yes, one mom-friend is enough. But no, one mom-friend really isn’t enough.
She makes a point of attending those birthday parties and events that she RSVP’s “yes” to, even though last minute she wonders why on earth it would be a good idea to go out into the world when she and the toddler could just stay home and snuggle on the couch.
And she has a lot of fun at those parties because believe it or not, parties are fun. (Although she still really likes the couch.)
Fast Forward a Few Years
Success! Over time our introvert has managed to collect quite a few mom-friends. And I think—actually I’m quite sure—that our introvert is a little bit more extroverted now.
Were you an introvert that had to force yourself into the trenches? And do you find that you still love your couch but are a bit more extroverted after forcing it for a while? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.